Bus driver reported for careless driving

POLICE have reported a bus driver for careless driving after the double decker he was in crashed into a low railway bridge - spectacularly ripping the roof off.

James Mortlock

POLICE have reported a bus driver for careless driving after the double decker he was in crashed into a low railway bridge - spectacularly ripping the roof off.

The 51-year-old, from Haverhill, was involved in the collision near Bury St Edmunds on Tuesday afternoon - minutes after dropping school children off in the village of Denham.

The Haverhill-based Burtons Coaches bus was heading back to Bury when it hit the bridge in Little Saxham.

The driver, who has been with Burtons for two years, was the only person on the bus at the time and was left shaken though unhurt.

A police spokeswoman said: “The driver of the bus, a 51-year-old man from Haverhill, was reported at the scene of the collision for careless driving. Further inquiries will be carried out and a file submitted (to the Crown Prosecution Service).

Most Read

“A decision will be made to either summons him to court for prosecution or discontinue the case.”

A spokeswoman for Suffolk County Council, which had been contracting the bus, said: “The service usually uses a single-decker bus and follows a route through Little Saxham, Barrow and Denham that avoids this low bridge.

“At the time of the accident the specified school transport route had already been completed safely and the vehicle was no longer operating a council service.

“The county council specifies the route - the contractor is responsible for making sure their drivers are fully trained, conversant with the route and licensed to drive a public vehicle. The bridge (in question) is signed to conform with current regulations. There are warning signs on either side of the bridge and advance signs at both approach junctions. We have checked and these signs are all in place.”

John Major, communications director at the Confederation of Passenger Transport, speaking on behalf of Burtons, told how the driver was not on a route when the crash happened but was driving between jobs. He said the journey through Little Saxham was “one he didn't know”.

“Had it been a scheduled service,” he said, “those routes are meticulously checked by the operator and driver (and in some cases the local authority, Suffolk County Council) and would not involve a low bridge and a double-decker.”

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter